If you saw The Hangover, you know that wearing a baby carrier can make you really cool. Especially if you put sunglasses on the baby. But, with any fashion accessory, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts to wearing successfully. Please keep reading so your photo doesn’t end up in the back of one of those magazines with a black bar over your eyes.
DO Try the carrier on before you buy it.
- This is a little tricky if you are trying to try on a baby carrier while 8 months pregnant, but the work around is getting a friend with very similar proportions to come along with you and be your body double. If you don’t have any friends your size, then I suggest making some. It really helps expand your wardrobe. But seriously, if you buy one and don’t like it, just return it!
DO Make sure your baby is VISIBLE and KISSABLE.
- This means when you look down you can see your baby’s face and she is high enough on your chest that you can bend over and kiss (or very close to almost kiss) her head.
DON’T Become intimidated by the different types of carriers out there.
- The wrap style and the buckle style are the most popular, but there are a lot of other options for a baby carrier out there, including a shirt with two leg holes for your baby. I’m not kidding. If you are trying to decide which one is right for you, I suggest trying them on in the store with your baby, or you should borrow one from a friend and wear it a few times before you make a choice. If you don’t have any friends with babies, come hang out in the Pediatric Associates of Dallas waiting room (ideally on the well side) and strike up a conversation with anyone wearing a baby.
DON’T Wear your baby in the water.
- This includes near a pool while watching other children or while on a boat. If you were to fall into the water or have to jump in, your baby could be in the water too long and also make it more complicated for you to swim.
DON’T Wear your baby in extreme temperatures.
- This is basically Texas from May-September. Babies don’t sweat as efficiently as we do, and it is very easy for a baby, especially a newborn, to become overheated. If you are sweating, the baby is already too hot. And for you people who have to have a specific number, I’m going to say 85 degrees.
DO Keep your baby facing toward you until he has good head and neck control.
- This is typically around 5-6 months. If your baby falls asleep facing forward, then he should be turned back around facing the parent.
DO Carry one baby at a time.
- Moms with twins or more, bless your heart.
DON’T Do any distracting or physically demanding activities while wearing your baby.
- Clearly this includes Cross Fit and Pilates, but I’d even caution you against walking down stairs or unloading the dishwasher. The person NOT caring for the baby can unload the dishwasher.
DON’T Stop here if you are obsessed with baby wearing.
- You can actually become a certified baby carrying expert. Go to Center for Babywearing Studies and take a four-day course with an exam at the end. Yes, this is really a thing.Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for more advice from your pediatrician and mother! Who knew I’d like writing blog posts so much? In the meantime, may you and your children stay safe, healthy, and make good decisions.
Karen McClard is a pediatrician in Dallas, Texas. She has two beautiful children who have been testing her patience for almost 14 years. She finds it impossible to separate the doctor part from the mom part of her brain, which is why she believes in practical advice that parents will actually follow. Because, deep down, we are all just doing our best to raise smart, healthy kids who aren’t jerks.